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Winter Academic Term 2001 Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Winter Term 2001 on wolverineaccess.umich.edu in order to use the link "Check Times, Location, and Availability". Once your session is established, the links will function.

Courses in Astronomy

This page was created at 9:23 AM on Wed, Nov 1, 2000.

Winter Term, 2001 (January 4 April 26)

Open courses in Astronomy

Wolverine Access Subject listing for ASTRO

Take me to the Winter Term '01 Time Schedule for Astronomy.

To see what has been added to or changed in Astronomy this week go to What's New This Week.

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Introductory Courses and Courses for Non-Concentrators.

Astronomy 101/111 discusses our explorations of the solar system. Astronomy 102/112 deals with stars and the rest of the Universe beyond the solar system. Students in Astronomy 101 and 102 attend a weekly discussion section. Students in Astronomy 111 and 112 actively participate in a laboratory which meets in the evening each week. None of these courses is a prerequisite for any of the others. High school mathematics through plane geometry is useful. All students in each course will have opportunities for a planetarium visit and for evening observations with telescopes.


ASTRO 101. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Richard L Sears (rlsears@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 111, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/sears/F00/101111/NEWS.html

Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students (see course description below).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Philip A Hughes (hughes@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 112, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Astronomy 102 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 112 students (see course description below). Instead of laboratory sections, Astronomy 102 incorporates weekly one-hour discussions and associated exercises, which is considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 111. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Richard L Sears (rlsears@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 101, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/sears/F00/101111/NEWS.html

This course presents an introduction to the field of astronomy and astrophysics with an emphasis on the discoveries from space exploration. The first third of the course deals with understanding the history of astronomy, orbits, gravitation, optics, and the properties of light and matter. The rest of the course explores the properties, origin and evolution of the major planets, asteroids, comets, the Sun, and other components of the Solar System with particular emphasis on comparative aspects with respect to the Earth. The origin and formation of the Solar System and the origin of life will also be discussed. This course is intended for non-science concentrators with a basic high school math and science background. Astronomy 111 has a two-hour laboratory section every week. Astronomy 101 has a one-hour discussion section. Course requirements include assigned reading, section meetings, homework, observations, quizzes, midterm, and a final examination. Laboratory sections include observations with telescopes.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 112. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Philip A Hughes (hughes@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A basic high school math and science background. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102, 130, or 160. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is intended primarily for non-science concentrators, who wish to understand the phenomena and properties of the universe beyond our solar system. There are no astronomy prerequisites, and a basic high school math background (e.g., not calculus) will suffice. Students examine the widest possible range of interrelated natural phenomena, from sub-atomic particles to the Universe as a whole. Lectures inventory the different types of stars and examine how red giants, white dwarfs, black holes, supernovae, and people all fit together in one grand, remarkable scheme. The larger picture includes our Milky Way galaxy, less hospitable exploding galaxies, and enigmatic quasars. The present state of knowledge or speculation regarding the origin and ultimate fate of our universe will also receive special attention. It all came from somewhere, but where...and why? Course grades will be derived from scheduled quizzes or exams, and laboratory exercises. Laboratory sections, which meet for two evening hours each week, will include planetarium demonstrations and observations with telescopes (weather permitting).

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 125. Observational Astronomy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Timothy A D Paglione (paglione@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Some knowledge of basic physics is helpful but not necessary. Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Astro. 120. (4). (NS). (BS).

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/paglione/as125/syll-f00.html

This course will teach how astronomical discoveries are made, by addressing hypothetical "what if" questions in astronomy. These case studies will provide insights into fundamental physical laws that rule the universe, as well as demonstrating how fine-tuned we are with the special environment we live in. Students will gain experience with the optical telescopes on campus as well as with computers, which are necessary for some of the labs. Through hands-on observing experience, students will understand how astronomical research is conducted and will discuss the merits and pitfalls of such observations. Some of the topics to be featured include measuring the distance to the Moon, measuring the size and expansion rate of the Universe, the moons of Jupiter, the evolution of stars, the creation of the elements, and the cosmic background radiation of the Big Bang. The course structure involves writing assignments, laboratory and observing exercises, introductory lectures by the instructor, and discussions led by individual students. One evening observing laboratory per week. Some knowledge of basic physics is helpful but not necessary.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 127. Naked Eye Astronomy.

Section 001, 003 MEETS JAN 5 TO FEB 23.

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (NS).

Mini/Short course

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand the observational phenomena that everyone has observed and become familiar with. Students will learn about the nature of the most common astronomical objects that can be observed by eye, such as the Sun, Moon, planets, and the stars. Students will come to understand astronomical phenomena such as the motion of these objects on the sky and their implications: seasons, phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, and the perplexing motions of the planets. Another important topic is the changing stellar sky, including the identification of the brighter stars and constellations during the different seasons. Transient objects such as comets and meteors will be discussed and a meteorite shower will be observed. The course will conclude with a discussion of ancient observatories and the historical efforts by humanity to measure important astronomical phenomena. A Planetarium will be one of the primary teaching facilities, but students will make their own observations and also work with computer programs, such as "The Sky." There will be homework assignments and a final.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 127. Naked Eye Astronomy.

Section 002, 004 MEETS MAR 6 TO APR 12.

Prerequisites & Distribution: (1). (NS).

Mini/Short course

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand the observational phenomena that everyone has observed and become familiar with. Students will learn about the nature of the most common astronomical objects that can be observed by eye, such as the Sun, Moon, planets, and the stars. Students will come to understand astronomical phenomena such as the motion of these objects on the sky and their implications: seasons, phases of the moon, solar and lunar eclipses, and the perplexing motions of the planets. Another important topic is the changing stellar sky, including the identification of the brighter stars and constellations during the different seasons. Transient objects such as comets and meteors will be discussed and a meteorite shower will be observed. The course will conclude with a discussion of ancient observatories and the historical efforts by humanity to measure important astronomical phenomena. A Planetarium will be one of the primary teaching facilities, but students will make their own observations and also work with computer programs, such as "The Sky." There will be homework assignments and a final.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 160. Introduction to Astrophysics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Mario L Mateo (mmateo@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Math. 115, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 140. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102, 112, or 130. (4). (NS). (BS). (QR/2).

Half QR

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Some of the most exciting phenomena and concepts in astronomy and astrophysics are explored in this survey course. One major theme is the structure and evolution of stars from their birth in giant molecular clouds through their death as white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. Another important theme is galaxies, with discussions about the missing or dark matter in galaxies, galaxy-galaxy interactions, and the large-scale distribution of galaxies in the Universe. We conclude with an examination of the Big Bang, the Inflationary Universe, and the Cosmic Background radiation. This course is directed toward students with an interest in science and mathematics. There are problem sets and a weekly two-hour laboratory using telescopes .

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 361. Astronomical Techniques.

Instructor(s): Hugh D Aller (haller@umich.edu) , Richard L Sears (rlsears@umich.edu) , Gary M Bernstein (garyb@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Astro. 160. (4). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is intended primarily for students concentrating in Astronomy, but other science and engineering students may elect it as well. It is an introduction to various techniques for obtaining and analyzing observational data. The areas covered are stellar trigonometric distance (parallax), imaging and photometry with electronic detectors, radiometric techniques, and interferometry.

In addition, there will be a series of lectures on error theory and least squares, to provide expertise needed in the analysis of observational data. Students will use optical telescopes and instrumentation and the Radio Observatory near Dexter to make observations. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory period each week. Course work will also include homework exercises and reading in original sources but there are no examinations.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 389. Individual Studies in Astronomy.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course consists of individual reading and study in astronomy under the guidance of the instructor.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: "5, Permission of Instructor"

ASTRO 399. Introduction to Research.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is for students in Astronomy who are prepared to undertake a limited research project under the guidance of a member of the staff of the Department of Astronomy. Astronomy 399 is open to qualified students in other departments and is subject to approval by concentration advisors and members of the staff of the Department of Astronomy.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: "5, Permission of Instructor"

ASTRO 401. Solar System Astrophysics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Charles R Cowley (cowley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Phys. 140 and Math. 116, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 240. (3). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

30% of the course will be based on independent reading of William K. Hartman's Moons and Planets (second edition). The remaining 70% of the course will be based on material presented in the lectures. This is divided into three parts. Part I deals with the mechanics of the solar system, and covers topics such as the two-body problem, N-body relations, the virial theorem, potential about an oblate spheroid, equations of rigid-body motion, etc. Part II treats geochemistry and cosmochemistry with special reference to the solar system. Included topics are fundamental principles of thermodynamics and chemical reactions, meteorites, geochemical classification of the elements, models of the solar nebula, condensation sequences from the solar nebula and the composition of planets. Part III deals with planetary structure, and emphasizes comparative planetology of the moon and terrestrial planets. Weekly problem sets are assigned, some of which require running programs on the Astronomy LAN or PCs. While students are not required to write their own programs, a knowledge of one or more high-level languages (FORTRAN, C, Pascal) will be useful. The level of difficulty will be similar to that of junior and senior courses in physics and chemistry.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 404. Galaxies and the Universe.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Mario L Mateo (mmateo@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Math. 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in Phys. 340. (3). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course focuses on the content of the universe on size scales larger than individual stars. We will study the mechanics of stellar orbits and the structure of galaxies, the evidence for dark matter in our galaxy and others, the interstellar gas in galaxies, the morphology of galaxies, and evolution of stellar populations.

On scales larger than individual galaxies, we will study the structure and dynamics of clusters of galaxies and larger scale structure. On even larger scales, we will look at the evolution of the universe as a whole, the cosmic microwave background radiation and inferences from its smoothness, and the formation of galaxies and structure on larger scales. This class is designed for science concentrators interested in a fairly serious introduction to the subject, and for upper-level Astronomy concentrators.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

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